Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Venue: TBC (Central London)
The Training Programme on European Patent Law and Practice is an intensive two-part course for candidates who are preparing for the main papers (A, B, C and D) of the European Qualifying Examination (EQE).
The Training Programme reflects the practical nature of the examinations, with an emphasis on studying past papers of the EQE. In addition to receiving intensive training from experienced tutors, participants hear from successful previous candidates about their recent experience of the examinations. To derive maximum benefit from the Training Programme, participants are asked to study various materials in advance, for discussion during the face-to-face sessions.
For aspiring European Patent Attorneys, the four papers comprising the EQE can appear a significant challenge. In 2015, out of a total of 1,685 candidates, only 587 achieved passes pursuant to Article 14(1) REE. In terms of UK-based candidates, recent pass rates vary between 65-87.5% for Papers A and B, 59.23% (up from 50.39% in 2014) for Paper C and 80.16% (up from 58.47% in 2014) for Paper D. Fail rates can reach 35% (Paper C).
QMUL tracks the success rates of candidates who attended the Training Programme prior to sitting the exam. Whilst not wishing to infer too much from these figures, since 2007 the pass rates of QMUL-trained candidates have generally been in excess of 90%, in some years, rising to 100%. Of the candidates attending the QMUL course in 2014/15, 75% passed the 2015 examinations (the remaining 25% may have failed the examination or may not have taken it yet). Most recently, the calibre of EQE candidates who attended the QMUL EQE Training Programme was also recognised by the significant accolade of two QMUL-trained candidates who passed the 2014 exam being asked to provide the EQE candidate's answer which is made available to future candidates sitting the mechanical papers A and B.
Whilst a preparatory course is not mandatory for EQE candidates, it can be very helpful mechanism to support and assist with candidates’ individual learning needs. With this in mind, the QMUL EQE Training Programme offers participants the chance to study, and discuss in-depth, previous years’ papers in a study group environment with learning facilitated by experienced tutors. The QMUL EQE Training Programme is specifically designed to assist candidates in this learning process by focusing on the approach that the examiners will look for, and how best to structure answers with those priorities in mind. Working in small groups increases interactivity and further facilitates learning during the training sessions.
Queen Mary University of London has been successfully running this EQE Training Programme for nearly thirty years. The course structure and content are continuously updated to reflect the changing requirements of the examination and the profession.
The Training Programme comprises two parts. Part 1 introduces candidates to the EQE papers, while Part 2 serves to consolidate and build on the knowledge and skills acquired during Part 1. It is possible to attend only Part 2 of the Programme; however, it is strongly recommended that candidates also attend Part 1.
The first part of the programme (2 full days in November) comprises
The second part of the programme (3 full days in January) comprises
The programme is scheduled to take place a few months before the upcoming examinations when candidates would be advanced in their own studies. It cannot replace individual preparation, but it can substantially aid and assist in identifying and addressing knowledge and skills gaps. The division into two parts is done in order to support candidates in their preparation and give them the opportunity to follow up on open issues at a later time, rather than having the entire programme delivered in one week-long session.
All tutors for this course are highly experienced European Patent Attorneys. They deal with the EPO on a daily basis and train professionals within their own firms. Our tutors have taught this course at QMUL since at least 2011, but have had prior teaching experience outside QMUL.
Paper D is jointly tutored by Margaret Mackett (Gevers Patents) and Christopher Revell (FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Limited).
The programme's Academic Advisor is Professor Duncan Matthews, Chair in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary University of London.
To qualify as a European patent attorney it is necessary to pass the European Qualifying Examination (EQE) administered by the European Patent Office (EPO). This examination, which serves to establish whether candidates have the requisite aptitude and knowledge to represent applicants before the European Patent Office (EPO), has a pass rate of less than 50% and consists of four papers sat under exam conditions ranging from three to six hours per paper.
The papers include three practical papers and a legal exam:
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Reduced fees apply for candidates participating only in Part 2 of the programme in January 2017.
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